Sergey Chernov (sergey_chernov) wrote,
Sergey Chernov

today's column about Timur Kacharava's murder

The St. Petersburg Times, Issue #1123(89), Friday, November 18, 2005

Chernov’s choice

By Sergey Chernov

Staff Writer

This space is supposed to be about musical entertainment, but this week the local music community is in shock over the violent death of a St. Petersburg musician who was killed last Sunday.

Twenty-year old Timur Kacharava was stabbed to death by a group of eight or 10 attackers in the city center, outside the Bukvoyed bookstore near the crossroads of Ligovsky and Nevsky Prospekts. His friend Max “Zgibov” Zgibai, bass player with the punk band Potom Budem Pozdno, was also stabbed. He was badly injured and is now in hospital.

According to his friends, who wished not to be named in print, Kacharava, Zgibai and others were apparently followed from Vladimirskaya Ploshchad, where they took part in a Food Not Bombs campaign event distributing food to the homeless. Suspected nazi lookouts were spotted on the square at around 4 p.m.

Some of the campaigners were in the store while Kacharava and Zgibai were outside finishing a bottle of beer when they were attacked. The attack lasted about a minute — leaving Kacharava dead and Zgibai wounded, Kacharava’s friends said.

Kacharava, who was in his fourth year of studies at the St. Petersburg State University’s Philosophy Faculty, played guitar with local punk bands Sandinista! and Distress and was active in anarchist and anti-nazi movements.

Nazi attacks are frequent in St. Petersburg, but most of them get scant media attention.

Last year Andrei Burlaka, the editor of the web site Rock‘n’ was beaten by a group of Nazis who came toward him shouting “Heil Hitler!” They left him lying unconscious with a broken nose at Ploshchad Vosstaniya metro. That incident was not reported.

In a written statement on Thursday, Kacharava’s friends condemned Governor Valentina Matviyenko’s attempts to deny the political motives behind Kacharava’s murder as “insulting to his memory.”

Just a few days before his death, Kacharava had returned from a five-date Swedish tour with Distress, a band he joined earlier this year. His main band, though, was Sandinista!, which he co-founded in 2003. Named after the Clash’s album, the band performed songs dealing with political and social issues. Sandinista!’s debut CD is scheduled for release on Moscow-based label Old Skool Kids Records. Some MP3 files can be downloaded from the band’s website at

This week people placed flowers and candles near the place where Kacharava was killed. Friends, musicians and everybody who cares will gather outside the Bukvoyed book store, 10 Ligovsky Prospekt, at 6 p.m. on Monday.

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